My Summer Body

I have a secret to share. I hate Summer. Every year about this time I begin to fret over a summer wardrobe, particularly over the SWIMSUIT. I become annoyed and jealous of the women that just casually pick up a cute bikini from Target without a care in the world about hiding dimples, stretch marks, and fat. About this time, every year, I think to myself, why didn't I go on a diet, why didn't I start that running routine, why didn't I do more crunches?

Not this year. This year I have resolved to do away with the body issues. Yes, that's right, simply do away with them and push them aside. I am not spending one more minute of my life trying to live up to some pre-conceived, media-driven ideal about how my body should look. Think of it as a diet for the mind. Every time I begin to think and worry about the first time I wear a swimsuit this season, I decide, that instead I'm going to think about the strength that I feel in downward dog, that sense of lightless-ness in a handstand, that euphoria that comes during savasana. My yoga practice has made me strong and fearless in a way that I haven't ever felt in my 38 years of life.

Long ago, I cancelled my subscriptions to the the women's "health" magazines that don't tell you that you are beautiful the way you are, but convince you that you need 'work'. They tell you that you need 3 weeks to get into a bikini, they tell you that you need a juice cleanse in order to 'restart' your metabolism, they tell you that you are fat and ugly. They tell you that simply by putting an unattainably beautiful, photo-shopped girl on the cover. Stop reading those magazines. Don't let people convince you that you need 'work'. You need to live in your body for the rest of life. It is the vessel in which you get to take you through this life. If your body doesn't feel good, if you are not healthy, you know what to do - eat better and exercise. Educate yourself, but don't be fooled by the fake imagery and barbie doll ideal that our society convinces you is the only way your body should look. It's complete nonsense and you know it, so stop believing it.

I know that I am happy, healthy and lucky to have a strong body. I have a body that has birthed two beautiful children, that has stretch marks, cellulite, hips, a pot belly and my husband thinks I am beautiful. I'll bet that someone in your life thinks you are beautiful the way you are too, so don't let 'body image' bring you down this summer. Wear what you what, be comfortable, practice yoga, truly believe that little voice inside your head that tells you that you are an amazing creature just the way you are.

Oh, and make a bonfire on the beach with those magazines.